Friday, June 12, 2009

We're singin' the acid blues

Feedings have been rough around here for the past couple of weeks. Not only have the babies started to exhibit "stranger anxiety" (occasionally screaming when someone other than Mom or Dad picks them up, refusing to let anyone else feed them, etc.), but also we are still dealing with the dreaded acid reflux.

I don't remember exactly when reflux entered the picture, but I do know that it manifested itself early on as projectile vomiting. Lots of it. In addition, Dahlia would scream during feedings, and she would only eat if I walked with her while singing. Our first plan of attack involved placing wedges in the cribs. We also kept the babies at a 45-degree angle while feeding, and we made sure to sit them up for a while (in swings or Boppys) before laying them down. When these measures weren't enough, the pediatrician put all of the babies on Zantac (periodically increasing the dosage to adjust for weight gain). Because Isaac continued to exhibit nearly constant discomfort, the doctor eventually added Prevacid to his treatment plan.

This regimen seemed to be doing the trick. Projectile vomiting? Hadn't seen it since Johnny and Holly's visit in late March. Crib wedges? We removed them several weeks ago with no apparent ill effects. Screaming during feeding? Not anymore.

But about a month ago, things suddenly changed. Jude began moaning all night long, while Isaac tossed and turned and grunted in the crib across from him. Lucy started refusing to drink more than half her bottle without a lot of coaxing (again, walking and singing proved helpful), and the boys soon followed suit. In the past couple of days, even Dahlia (our most consistent eater) has stopped taking a full bottle. And Lucy has projectile vomited twice in the last 24 hours.

Since the current treatment has clearly ceased to be effective, the pediatrician is recommending that we take Jude and Lucy off of Zantac and put them on Prevacid. Isaac is going off of Zantac and Prevacid and starting Prilosec. Because Dahlia's issues are so recent, she is sticking with Zantac for the time being. I am desperately hoping that this new treatment plan will make a difference. If you've had a baby with reflux, you know how frustrating it can be to deal with this condition. Now multiply the exhaustion and feelings of helplessness by four, and you'll have an idea of what we're going through!

At least the reflux doesn't seem to be affecting the babies' growth or development. And I am grateful that we aren't dealing with anything other than relatively mild acid reflux—from what I've heard, things could be so much worse! I thank God every day for giving me such beautiful, healthy, rock star babies:

Isaac, Lucy, Jude, and Dahlia (clockwise from bottom left),
modeling the outfits my cousin Tiffany gave them


Sierra said...

Hang in there, Suzy!! Deacon and Veronica both were on Prilosec from around 3 months on. Deacon was off at about a year and Veronica is 10 months and (finally!) doing great on it. Hopefully the new regimen will do the trick for all four cuties. : )

Kristy said...

They are just too cute, even if they do projectile vomit. I hope the med switches do the trick. Kate was on Prevacid until she turned three and it definitely helped. Some kids seem to respond better to Prilosec, some to Prevacid, so who knows what will work for each one. I hope you get it all sorted out soon for your sake. The most helpful thing for us was when she was able to sit up on her own and gravity started helping keep things down. Maybe that will help yours too.

The Haughs said...

So so so cute! I'll definitely be praying for some relief for you all. . . The only thing I can think of that would maybe cause it to be worse is an increase in their activity/becoming more active??? Hmm. . . hopefully the med change helps them. I still so want to meet them!

Ashley said...

Good luck! Addison had terrible reflux. Zantac didn't work and she was allergic to Prevacid. Prilosec worked great but wasn't covered by our insurance (something about being over the counter for adults - this was in 2005) so it cost us $100 each month! It was still worth it as it really, really helped Addison and she ultimately outgrew it.

The pacifier helped a lot too. Our GI specialist actually told us to not take it away from her until she outgrew the reflux.

Hang in there!

Susannah said...

Ditto, with the hang in there. We have a baby who was a premie too and he too had acid reflux. Zantac DOES NOT WORK!!! Prevacid did the trick but hurt his stomach. Eventually he grew out of it. I would have to rock him while eating and listening to Mr. Sandman over and over again! He's 13 months and still not that fabulous of an eater. It will get easier though. You can check out and go to their message boards, this provided me with great comfort! Again, it does get easier!

Susannah in Alabama(kinda feel like saying with a banjo on my knee)

Stephanie said...

Praying for that reflux to go away soon!!!
That pic is just adorable!! Love the onesies!!

Valerie said...

People used to laugh at me because I didn't travel with burp cloths, I used blankets. My oldest was the worst. When he switched to eating solids he made huge improvements. I can only imagine multiplying what we went through times 4! I pray that you will get all the meds figured out quickly and that calm happy babies will return.

Strictly said...

Wow - I had a baby with reflux and I remember the milk everywhere, I can't imagine coping with 4 times as much!

He was on sachets of Gaviscon from 17 weeks to one year, gradually reducing from 2 per bottle to 1 per day until once he was more mobile at about 13 months, he didn't need it any more.

The day I realised we needed help and he was more than just a sicky baby? The day my friend offered to hold him while I went to the toilet and I came back to find her, my other friend and my friend's handbag soaked in milk.


Oh my just described our life perfectly with our quads. Our Kylie is the one on zantac and prevacid and 98% of the time we are feeding a screaming baby with her. She is our one you walk with to get started, bounce slightly on a them the TV for a hopeful distraction (it works with a few)- the one no one really wants to feed (ELi as well)
Ellie used to be the worse and now the best...ahhh, there is hope. SOphie is good, but often has to be sitting straight up to start her. They all have their different ways of feeding (which is why we keep feed help to a minimal)
I soooo understand and so glad that you posted about it. We haven't been able to keep ours on a consistant schedule yet due to their reflux issues and some not tolerating very many ounces, etc. We just keep track of when they eat/how much, etc. We've made it to two babies every 3 hours with 4oz and two babies every 4 hours with 5oz. Oh and Kylie, we give her the prevacid between 8-9am and sometimes it helps (then zantac in the afternoon) but if she has prevacid before 8am - forget it. It's really hit or miss. Email me anytime....our babies are close in age. Kami Crisanti


Oh yeah....two other babies are on zantac only. All babies are on similac sensitive (we just put them all on the same (some were on gentelease) and we tried the expensive stuff with Kylie- nothing made it better really. We are just told ALL the time that they will get better, etc....outgrow it, etc....
Praying that day comes soon. Kami

Hilary said...

Man that's a bummer!! I hope it gets better..the picture is so stinkin CUTE!!!!!! Get better babies :) Hang in there Momma :)

Amy-Jo said...

They are so precious. All three of ours have reflux and we found that the Dr Brown bottles really help and now all three of them are also on thickener. When they do vomit now it is not projectile. Our Logan used to scream so much during every feed and now he is so much better with the changes made. Good luck with everything!

Diagnose Rachel said...

Hope you get those wedges back in their cribs quick! It can take a month either way to heal or ruin the esophagus (sp?) from acid. Our last of 3 reflux babies would sleep in a bjorn attached the the wedge, so he felt snug and straight.
Our BEST medicine, used with the other acid meds was Carafate. A children's ER doc started our 2nd baby on it, and the pediatric GI doc used it too. It coats the tubes and tummy, so they don't hurt and heal fast.
All I know is that when my daughter got that (up to every six hours), she started eatting her bottle again, without me walking around the block and singing. (yeah, the neighbors got used to seeing me in a robe, walking the baby around at all hours!

Good luck, this is sure exhausting and 9 months can seem far away when a baby has been crying for an hour and still won't eat!!! But you're more than half way there :)

Suzy said...

Rachel, the wedges are definitely back in their cribs. We originally took them out because they were rolling off of them and waking up so much during the night. The Bjorn idea is ingenious!!!! I have a bunch that people gave me, so I will definitely test them out ASAP.

And thanks for the carafate recommendation. A triplet mom I know told me about this yesterday and I had never heard of it. I'm calling the pediatrician today to see if I can get my hands on some. There is hope yet! :)


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